Having failed to reach accommodation on the Flint, Mich., drinking water issue, the U.S. Senate has not resumed debate on S. 2012, the bipartisan energy bill, with its provisions to expedite the Department of Energy’s (DOE) decisions on U.S. LNG export licenses. The Senate is off this week for the President’s Day recess. The following short excerpt from the Detroit News summarizes the impasse:
“A spokesman for Senate Energy Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski, (R-AK) noted that last week Murkowski offered an amendment to the energy bill to provide up to $550 million to Flint, including $50 million available immediately… Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) objected to the amendment, saying it would not provide enough aid up front to Flint. It would rely largely on loans through the nascent Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Fund, which is months away from being set up.“It is unclear to us why it is not seen as an acceptable response,” Murkowski spokesman Mike Tadeo said. “The Committee has been and remains unable to agree to anything that directly and deliberately violates the rules of the Senate, the Constitution or increases deficit spending. Doing so would prevent the bill from ever reaching conference—and, among other consequences, prevent aid from reaching the people of Flint.”
Stay tuned to this same bat-channel for developments.